Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Logo Madness

The other day my friend Dan, who's an art teacher, sent me a design-related article. It was about the recent change The Gap retail stores quietly made to their company logo.

The consensus among us (& the world it seems) was that the new logo sucked tremendously. I saw a comment that accurately observed that it went from an iconic, recognizable brand - to something that looked like something thrown together in an old version of Microsoft Office. I don't know why some companies feel they need to change things for the sake of changing it.

It's funny how 2 elements arranged slightly differently can have such a dramatic visual effect.

Thanks to the instant feedback available from The Internet, they did a quick 180ยบ turn back to the old logo.

Another recent logo redesign in the "Why bother?" category is the new wacky logo for the social wasteland known as Myspace.com. I made a Monkey Buddha page on Myspace before Facebook became the dominant force. Now, I basically use Myspace just to upload animated GIFs, which Blogger doesn't allow.


It's actually an interesting concept & definitely more inspired than The GAP failure. The problem is that under the direction of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, it seems Myspace has lost the edge in the social media game. Judging from the Google News feed it seems like people don't even care enough about it to comment. Admittedly, the new logo does playfully represent the customizable features of Myspace that's been it's biggest unexploited strength against the bland user interface of Facebook. Regardless, I don't think Myspace can even come close to overtaking Facebook in the foreseeable future.

Finally in questionable branding, there is MSNBC's new tagline "Lean Forward". Although it is not as laughable as Fox New's obviously untrue "Fair & Balanced," it's definitely an awkward choice.

Even as a designer, though, I mostly tune out the pervasive branding all around us that identifies products, services, & companies. In related news, someone has developed software to mask recognizable logos in video with blank areas or imagery. Thankfully the human mind already shuts that kind of visual clutter out of the consciousness to focus on other things. This could definitely be a useful tool for video editors though:


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